Snowmobile Injuries in Children and Adolescents

Nayci, Ali; Stavlo, Penny L.; Zarroug, Abdalla E.; Zietlow, Scott P.; Moir, Christopher R.; Rodeberg, David A.
January 2006
Mayo Clinic Proceedings;Jan2006, Vol. 81 Issue 1, p39
Academic Journal
OBJECTIVE: To characterize the risk factors and patterns of Injury for children Involved in snowmobile incidents. PATIENTS AND METHODS: We reviewed the medical records of patients younger than 18 years who required hospital admission for snowmobile-related incidents from 1992 to 2001. Information obtained from these records and from the trauma database included patient demographics, mechanism of Injury, injury patterns, medical care, and outcomes. RESULTS: Forty-three patients were admitted to our hospital for snowmobile-related Incidents. Snowmobile Incidents occurred most commonly in male adolescents. The 2 most common mechanisms of Injury were ejection and striking a stationary object. Twenty-seven (63%) of the patients drove the snowmobile. Only 23 patients (53%) wore a helmet. At presentation, the mean ± SEM Injury Severity Score (ISS) was 12.1±1.4. Orthopedic Injuries predominated (n=42); however, abdominal (n=12) and head (n=8) Injuries were also common. Four patients were intubated, and 15 required Intensive care unit admission. Twenty-nine patients (67%) required surgical intervention. The mean ± SEM length of hospitalization was 6.7±1.4 days. No deaths occurred; however, 7 patients (16%) had long-term disabilities. A significant improvement occurred In both Glasgow Coma Scale (GCS) score and ISS for patients using a helmet. In addition, helmet use Increased with age (P=.01). Days in the Intensive care unit were proportional to both GCS score (ç=-0.47 P=.002) and ISS (rs=0.6; P<.001). Length of hospitalization also correlated with both GCS score (rs=-.0.03; P=.008) and 155 (rs=0.54; P<.02). CONCLUSION: Snowmobiles are a significant source of multi- trauma for children. Orthopedic Injuries predominate, especially in older children, and can lead to long-term disabilities. Helmet use significantly reduces Injuries; however, vulnerable younger patients do not frequently wear helmets.


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